Please enter the map details as below in Google Maps in your navigator. Follow the instructions accordingly. 21491, Beech Road, Southfield, Michigan 48033, USA
To register for a scheduled group retreat, visit our Retreats & Events Schedule page and find a retreat that meets your experience level and interest. Then click on register.
We offer individual retreats and formal, structured group retreats. We have two-to five-day and longer formal retreats. Retreats are generally held in complete silence, with meditation instructions and teachings in Buddhist doctrine and philosophy. There will be the opportunity for questions and answers. Reading and writing during retreats is discouraged. Meditation styles include concentration as well as mindfulness, vipassana (insight), or Mettā.
If you are coming to a retreat and have never meditated before, we recommend very highly that you start to do some meditation on your own just so you have a little bit of experience before you get here. However, no experience is required for beginner retreats.
The teachings of the Buddha are priceless. We practice dhana (in the Pali language) by offering the teachings without charge However, donations are widely appreciated and accepted daily. With donations, we provide financial support for the monks and the Vihara to continue to offer services Donations by check or money order may be sent to: Great Lakes Buddhist Vihara, 21491, Beech Road, Southfield, Michigan 48033, USA
We ask you to remove your shoes at the area allocated at the entrance. You can meet a Bhante in the meditation-shrine area. Please respect and maintain silence in the shrine room . RELAX, and SMILE 😊
Do not bring illicit drugs, alcohol, or weapons/firearms of any type. They are strictly forbidden. Smoking on the premises is not allowed. Do not bring personal computers, electronic musical devices, radios, musical instruments, newspapers, magazines and secular books to the center. It is our Abbot’s request that you concentrate on the retreat and not disrupt your concentration with electronic devices or reading material.
For many people, the monksat GLBV are the first they ever meet. Often people are nervous or uncomfortable. No need for that here! We hope that as you get to know us any discomfort will fade away. The Buddha wanted his nuns and monks to be able to interact with lay people to share the teachings. He also wanted them to be separate from worldly affairs so they could focus their energy on spiritual practice. For that reason, the Buddha laid down rules of behavior for monks. These rules permit interaction, while at the same time discouraging intimacy. So for example, the rules for Theravada monks and nuns requires that they do not touch members of the opposite sex. Therefore, you can greet them by holding your palms together in the praying position instead of shaking their hands. People often ask how to address monastics. You may hear the word “Bhante” at the Vihara very often and that’s how devotees address the resident monks. The Pali word “Bhante” means, the reverend sir or venerable sir.
Food is provided by the members of the congregation during retreats for the participants of the retreat. Soft drinks are also available as needed.
Please speak with the monks
Yes, there are many ways you can be of service to the GLBV. Please contact us for details.
While we do hope to ordain interested people and provide spiritual directions for them in the future, currently we do not have the facilities to accommodate new members. We encourage people to talk to us and get directions accordingly.
Daily we eat breakfast and lunch together in silence. Almost all retreats are held in silence. Noble Silence means no talking or non-verbal communication of any kind, except of course in emergencies, interviews or discussion times with the Retreat Coordinator and Retreat Teacher(s). The purpose of Noble Silence is to allow the mind to let go of outer distractions and to focus as much as possible on the inner world. In this regard it is also useful to minimize eye contact with other retreatants. Practicing restraint of the senses in this way provides an essential foundation for the powerful inner work that a meditation retreat facilitates.
The GLBV Precepts “A strong foundation of morality helps us develop the discipline and serenity necessary for the practice of meditation.” Retreatants are required to follow five or eight precepts during the retreat time or as they wish in their lives:
- Abstain from taking life.
- Abstain from taking what is not given.
- Abstain from all sexual activity.
- Abstain from false speech.
- Abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness.
- Abstain from eating at improper times.
- Abstain from dancing, singing, music, shows, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying with cosmetics.
- Being Gentle and Kind to oneself and others.
Before taking the precepts, you will take the three refuges: refuge in the Buddha, refuge in the Dhamma (the teachings), and refuge in the Sangha (‘Sangha’ means those individuals who have attained enlightenment using these teachings). Traditionally this is considered the action that makes one officially a Buddhist.
- Spiritual Counseling
- Chaplaincy Services
- Weekly Meditation Classes
- Monthly Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats
- Family/Youth Counseling
- Public Talks
- Monthly Poya Programs and Sil Observances
- Youth Group Programs
- Programs for Seniors
- New immigrant settling assistance
- Soup Kitchen and Community Program participation